Freelance for National Geographic Magazine
"LAKOTA HEYOKA, SACRED CLOWN"
Stanley Good Voice Elk, a heyoka, burns sage to ritually purify his surroundings. In Oglala spirituality, Heyokas are recipients of sacred visions who employ clownish speech and behavior to provoke spiritual awareness and "keep balance," says Good Voice Elk. Through his mask, he channels the power of an inherited spirit, which transforms him into Spider Respects Nothing.